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Posts Tagged ‘Marc Chagall’

Marc Chagall- La Vie – 1964

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If all life moves inevitably towards its end, then we must, during our own, colour it with our colours of love and hope.

–Marc Chagall

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Well, I feel that you can never go wrong by showing a painting or two from Marc Chagall. His work never fails to make me stop to examine it, to try to read what it has written in its colors and forms.

There is always something there.

There is music and dance, grace and movement. There is myth and memory all intertwined. So much is there. But in it all are the warm colors of love and hope, much like the ones he mentions in the words at the top.

I can only hope to live out my life like a Chagall painting.

That would be a good thing for any of us.

Marc Chagall- L’Âne Musicien à Saint-Paul- 1975

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Chagall/Work to Live

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Work isn’t to make money; you work to justify life.

Marc Chagall

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Whenever I am feeling frazzled or creatively blocked, there is always comfort in turning to Marc Chagall. Both his work and his words work wonders for me. I can’t speak for other artists but making using money as an incentive to create never turns out well for me. The work must validate my existence, give me a reason for being. Otherwise, it is hollow and lifeless.

Art is life and life is art.


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Marc Chagall Sun of ParisWhen I am finishing a picture I hold some God-made object up to it–a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand– as a kind of final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there’s a clash between the two, it is bad art.

–Marc Chagall

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I have only mentioned Marc Chagall  here once over the 6+ years I have been doing this blog and I very seldom list him as one of my influences or even one of my favorite artists. But somehow he always seems to be sitting prominently there at the end of the day, both as a favorite and an influence.

One way in which his influence takes  form is in the way in which he created a unique visual vocabulary of symbolism within his work. His soaring people, his goats and horses and angels all seem at once mythic yet vaguely reminiscent of our own dreams, part of each of us but hidden deeply within.

They are mysterious but familiar.

marc-chagall-fishermans-family-1968And that’s a quality– mysterious and familiar– that I sought for my own symbols: the Red Chair, the Red Tree and the anonymous houses, for examples. That need to paint familiar objects that could take on other aspects of meaning very much came from Chagall’s paintings.

He also exerted his influence in the way in which he painted, distinct and as free-flowing as a signature. It was very much what I would call his native voice. Not affected or trying to adhere to any standards, just coming off his brush freely and naturally.

An organic expression of himself.  And that is something I have sought since I first began painting– my own native voice, one in which I painted as easily and without thought as I would write my signature.

So to read how Chagall judged his work for authenticity makes me consider how I validate my own work. It’s not that different. I use the term a sense of rightness to describe what I am seeking in the work which is the same sense one gets when you pick up a stone and consider it. Worn through the ages, untouched for the most part by man, it is precisely what it is. It’s form and feel are natural and organic. There is just an inherent rightness to it. I hope for that same sense when I look at my work and I am sure that it is not far from the feeling Chagall sought when he compared his own work to a rock or a flower or his own hand.

Marc Chagall Song of Songs

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If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing.

― Marc Chagall

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So true…

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I was thinking of something in a Halloween theme for today’s Sunday Morning Music.  But I changed my mind when I realized that after the last year in this country it had become an ironic holiday. Or at least overkill because every day feels like Halloween and at some point on most days I find myself screaming at the sky in horror.

All tricks and no treats.

Why the hell do I want to celebrate that?

So, I’m gonna go in a different direction (note the Chagall print at the top– not scary, right?) and play a song, White Bird, from 1968 from the San Francisco based group, It’s  a Beautiful Day. They never achieved the same kind of fame as the other bands– Jefferson Airplane, Santana and the Grateful Dead–who came out of SF’s 1967 Summer of Love. but this song is pretty captivating in tone with it’s soaring violin from David LaFlamme, who re-released a version of the song a decade later under his name. That’s where I first heard the song.

Give a listen and have a good day. And if you hear a blood-curdling scream in the woods around my studio, don’t worry– it’s just another day in Halloween Land.

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I’ve been very busy recently and haven’t had chance to write as fully as I would like.  I’ve been doing this long enough that writing the blog has become habit and I feel a little guilty when I think I’m not attentive enough.  But I have tried to alleviate some of my guilt by sharing some things that I do like. Like the video below of the work of Marc Chagall set to the music of Mozart’s Piano Concerto #23 Adagio.

I’ve always been a fan of Chagall’s work. It’s hard to not let myself get caught up in the world of Chagall’s paintings. It’s easy to happily absorb yet you’re never quite sure what it is that you’re taking in. Something magical and mystical there.

Enjoy…

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Marc Chagall Sun of ParisWhen I am finishing a picture I hold some God-made object up to it / a rock, a flower, the branch of a tree or my hand / as a kind of final test. If the painting stands up beside a thing man cannot make, the painting is authentic. If there’s a clash between the two, it is bad art.

–Marc Chagall

**************

I haven’t mentioned Marc Chagall  here but once over the 6+ years I have been doing this blog and I very seldom list him as one of my influences or even one of my favorite artists.   But somehow he always seems to be sitting prominently there at the end of the day, both as a favorite and an influence.

One way in which his influence takes  form is in the way in which he created a unique visual vocabulary of symbology within his work.  His soaring people, his goats and horses and angels all seem at once mythic yet vaguely reminiscent of our own dreams, part of each of us but hidden deeply within.

They are mysterious but familiar.

marc-chagall-fishermans-family-1968And that’s a quality– mysterious and familiar– that I sought for my own symbols: the Red Chair, the Red Tree and the anonymous houses, for examples.  That need to paint familiar objects that could take on other aspects of meaning very much came from Chagall’s paintings.

He also exerted his influence in the way in which he painted, distinct and as free-flowing as a signature.  It was very much what I would call his Native Voice.  Not affected or trying to adhere to any standards, just coming off his brush freely and naturally.

An organic expression of himself.  And that is something I have sought since I first began painting– my own native voice, one in which I painted as easily and without thought as I would write my signature.

  So to read how Chagall judged his work for authenticity makes me consider how I validate my own work.  It’s not that different.  I use the term a sense of rightness to describe what I am seeking in the work which is the same sense one gets when you pick up a stone and consider it.  Worn through the ages, untouched for the most part by man, it is precisely what it is.  It’s form and feel are natural and organic. There is just an inherent  rightness to it.  I hope for that same sense when I look at my work and I am sure that it is not far from the feeling Chagall sought when he compared his own work to a rock or a flower or his own hand.

Marc Chagall Song of Songs

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